A group of medical device industry insiders — including former Verb Surgical and Volcano Corp. CEO Scott Huennekens — are planning a $175 million IPO for a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Los Angeles–based VIDA FLaSH Acquisitions filed a form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 18 for a proposed IPO of 17.5 million units at $10 apiece. After going public, VIDA FLaSH will identify and acquire a company in the medical technologies, diagnostics, digital health or genomics fields.
SPACs have become a hot investment mechanism in medtech and other industries as the U.S. emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. Just last week, handheld body scanner company Butterfly Network started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BFLY after SPAC Longview Acquisition Corp. completed its merger with it.
Huennekens helped found the company in January and is its chair; the co-founder and CEO is Dr. Frank Litvack, an interventional cardiologist, UCLA professor and former co-director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Other company leaders include:
- CFO John Blake, CFO of Provisio Medical and former CFO of Second Sight Medical Products;
- Board director Michal Geva, managing partner and co-Founder at Triventures;
- Board director Renee Gaeta, CFO of Establishment Labs;
- Board director Siddhartha C. Kadia, former CEO of EAG Laboratories.
VIDA FLaSH plans to list its Class A ordinary shares and warrants on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols FLSHU, FLSH and FLSHW, respectively. Goldman Sachs is acting as the deal’s sole bookrunner.
VIDA FLaSH will join other SPACs that have been hunting for acquisition deals in medtech. MedTech Acquisition Corp., which has former iRhythm COO Karim Karti as its chair, closed a $250 million IPO in December 2020. Compute Health Acquisition, which counts former Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak as its chair, is planning a $750 million IPO.
SPACs appear to be having a heyday. Harvard Business Review contributor Ivana Naumovska recently predicted that the trend could play out like previous reverse merger boom and bust cycles.